New York, NY - July 16, 2013 - The Weinstein Company (TWC) acknowledged today the online petition of outspoken Ann Arbor, MI teen Katy Butler, who is recruiting supporters online in favor of the studio's use of the film title THE BUTLER. Butler's call to action is now posted on Change.org, the world's largest petition platform. TWC has hired renowned attorney David Boies to fight the case over the use of the title against Warner Bros. They are presently set to release a film of this name, directed by Lee Daniels and starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, on August 16th. Warner Bros alleges that the rights to the title belong to them, as the company also released a film called THE BUTLER in 1916.
Inspired by Daniels' film's message on Civil Rights, Butler contacted TWC to advise them she'd be posting another plea in their favor on Change.org, which went live this morning.
Butler lent ardent support to TWC in 2012 when they faced ratings trouble with their documentary BULLY. A victim of teen bullying personally, Butler initiated a successful online campaign to convince the MPAA to change their initial rating of the film from R to a more viewer-accessible PG-13.
"Claiming that this new movie will take away from the 1916 short and cause confusion for the audience is almost as ridiculous as saying my name, Katy Butler, will create confusion," commented Butler. "Warner Bros. needs to let people see THE BUTLER with its original title. I just hope they don't make me change my last name after this petition gets out there!"
Butler's full petition can be viewed here:
ABOUT THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes. TWC releases took home eight 2012 Academy Awards®, the most wins in the studio's history. The tally included Best Picture for Michel Hazanavicius's THE ARTIST and Best Documentary Feature for TJ Martin and Dan Lindsay's UNDEFEATED. THE ARTIST brought TWC its second consecutive Best Picture statuette following the 2011 win for Tom Hooper's THE KING'S SPEECH.
Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as GRINDHOUSE; 1408; I'M NOT THERE; THE GREAT DEBATERS; VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; THE ROAD; HALLOWEEN; THE PAT TILLMAN STORY; PIRANHA 3D; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; A SINGLE MAN; BLUE VALENTINE; THE COMPANY MEN; MIRAL; SCRE4M; SUBMARINE; DIRTY GIRL; APOLLO 18; OUR IDIOT BROTHER; I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT; SARAH'S KEY; SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D; MY WEEK WITH MARILYN; THE IRON LADY; W.E.; CORIOLANUS; UNDEFEATED; THE ARTIST; BULLY; THE INTOUCHABLES; LAWLESS; KILLING THEM SOFTLY; THE MASTER; SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK; DJANGO UNCHAINED; QUARTET; ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH; DARK SKIES; THE SAPPHIRES; SCARY MOVIE 5; and KON-TIKI. Currently in release are UNFINISHED SONG and FRUITVALE STATION. Upcoming releases include THE BUTLER, THE GRANDMASTER and SALINGER.
TWC is active in television production, led by former Miramax Films President of Production Meryl Poster. TWC is the studio behind such hit television series as the Emmy® nominated and Peabody Award winning reality series PROJECT RUNWAY and its spin-off series PROJECT RUNWAY ALL STARS and PROJECT ACCESSORY; the VH1 reality series MOB WIVES and its spin-off series MOB WIVES CHICAGO and BIG ANG; and the critically acclaimed scripted HBO comedy/crime series THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY which also received a Peabody Award. The company is in production on the upcoming TLC series WELCOME TO MYRTLE MANOR, the A&E series RODEO QUEENS, and the Lifetime reality competition show SUPERMARKET SUPERSTAR hosted by Stacy Keibler. Among TWC's other projects in development for television are the martial-arts epic MARCO POLO for Starz, an untitled private eye procedural for FX, and THE NANNY DIARIES developed by ABC with a pilot by Amy Sherman Palladino.